Posted on 05 May 2010
Election fever gripped Farnham College on Friday 30 th April with first-time voters crowding in to hear the views of local candidates standing in Thursday’s election.
Jeremy Hunt (Conservative), Luke Leighton (Pirate Party), Roger Meekins (UKIP), Richard Mollet (Labour) and Mike Simpson (Liberal Democrats) formed the panel, chaired by College Director, Fred Carter. They covered a range of topics in a “Question Time” styled session. Students quizzed the candidates on a range of issues including local facilities for the youth of Farnham, the war in Afghanistan, Proportional Representation and Higher Education.
For many of the students it was their first experience of political debate. Eighteen-year old Vinai Kongara said, “Having the candidates in front of us explaining their policies gives you a different perspective of their manifestos. It certainly has made me think twice about who I should vote for.” Another first-time voter, Mark Shuttleworth, who is planning to study Engineering at University next year, added, “It is good to get to know the individual local candidates and what they stand for.’’ Nineteen-year-old Emily Cabrol, who has applied to read medicine at university, said, “I was really interested to hear the views from all the candidates, particularly their views relating to expanding university places.”
Farnham College Director Fred Carter hailed the event a great success. “I am delighted to have been able to offer our students, many of whom will be voting for the first time on the 6 th May, this unique opportunity to hear from the political parties about issues that are important to them. We are grateful to the candidates for coming to the College and enabling our students to understand more about politics.”